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Corporate Sustainability Reporting

Corporate Sustainability Reporting

A sustainability report is a report published by a company or organization disclosing the economic, environmental and social impacts of its activities. It also presents the organization’s values, management approach and governance model, and demonstrates the link between its strategy and its commitments to a sustainable global economy. Sustainability reporting can help to understand carbon performance, set goals, manage change more effectively and communicate sustainability performance to external stakeholders and customers.

Businesses all over the world are paying more attention to using resources more responsibly and are looking for sustainability support. Measuring and reporting your GHG emissions will help your business understand its carbon sources and identify opportunities to reduce emissions and costs, improve your reputation and manage long term business risks.

Benefits of sustainability reporting for companies include:

  • Using the insights gained through footprinting as a baseline for strategy development to identify significant carbon and cost reductions, see opportunities and set targets
  • Understanding the broader reporting landscape and how to maximise the reputation gains from demonstration of good environmental management and sustainability
  • Using verification or certification schemes to communicate to customers and stakeholders
  • Measuring scope 3 and supply chain emissions. These are increasingly a part of voluntary schemes such as the GRI and CDP, and can expose current and future risks as well as unlock cost savings in your supply chain.

Scope 1, 2 & 3 Reporting

Emissions are generated from all kind of activities: from energy use and land clearing, to waste management and services purchased. GHG emissions are usually divided into three categories:

  • Scope 1 – Direct emissions: these come directly from an activity or action such as burning fuels in a car, boiler, or a stove.
  • Scope 2 – Indirect fuel emissions: these are emitted in the processes performed by energy suppliers to produce the energy that one consumes. An example of this is the burning of coal or gas to generate electricity.
  • Scope 3 – Other indirect emissions: these are emissions that occur in the up or downstream processes of a supply chain. This could be the extraction of raw materials, production of food, transport unrelated to the direct emitter, or waste treatment.

The difference between these various integrated activities, is sometimes unclear. Therefore, it is very important to be precise in the categories and what to include in them, e.g. focus on cradle to gate or cradle to grave emissions. That is why standards have been developed to help companies, authorities and even individuals navigate through accurate GHG accounting. They define the main concepts connected with a carbon footprint, divide emissions into Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3, and help the user navigate through the GHG inventory process.

Standards for sustainability reporting

There are a number of standards and protocols for conducting sustainability reporting. The main internationally recognised standards include the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The GHG Protocol is a globally recognized organization that is developing frameworks for measurement and management of GHG in the public and private sector. Standards developed by Greenhouse Gas Protocol serve as a common ground for many reporting systems and certification programs.

Ecomatters supports companies to determine which reporting standard fits their goals and strategy best and how to implement the standard within their corporate boundaries. We have done this for numerous companies including:

  • IMCD group: In 2019 Ecomatters supported IMCD with their 2018 Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guided sustainability reporting. We conducted the full process of sustainability reporting including topics materiality assessment, approach development, calculations, development of the structure and content of the report, support in data collection and goals setting.
  • AkzoNobel: Ecomatters supported AkzoNobel with their corporate carbon reporting as part of their Annual Report of 2019. The carbon measurement and reporting was in line with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard for Accounting and Reporting and externally audited.

Integrated Reporting

Integrated reporting (IR) is the summary report in which businesses share with investors and stakeholders how they operate sustainably and how strategy, governance, performance and prospects create value for the short, medium and long term. IR is different from traditional financial reporting in the sense that it aims to involve more stakeholders for greater collaboration amongst different facets of an organization

To support companies in developing IR the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) launched the Integrated Reporting Framework in 2013. This framework guides companies through developing integrated reporting along six capitals: financial capital; manufacturing capital; human capital; social and relationship capital; intellectual capital and, natural capital.

Ecomatters Support

Ecomatters provides sustainability support in many capacities. Our strategic advice, target-setting and reporting service can help you ensure that your organisation’s reporting meets regulatory requirements as well as your corporate objectives. Ecomatters offers a full range of services for small to large multi-national corporations.

It is our priority to work closely with you to go beyond the numbers and make sustainability mean something productive for your business. In order to offer effective support, we are up to date on the global standards for emissions and carbon calculation methods. These methods include the Carbon Disclosure Project, Global Reporting Initiative, Integrated Reporting Framework and the various LCA ISO standards.

Our experts can:

  • Design and support in corporate carbon reporting systems
  • Help your organisation measure carbon emissions under your direct control (scope 1 and 2 emissions) as well as your organisation’s indirect (scope 3) emissions
  • Corporate sustainability reporting that is Green House Gas Protocol, Global Reporting Initiative and Carbon Disclosure compliant
  • Gap-analysis current scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions and requirements for GHG, GRI, Carbon disclosure project compliance
  • Value chain analysis, development of customized tools and marketing activities
  • Support in calculations of the environmental footprint of products or the organisation
  • Support in the review or audit process of sustainability reporting as part of the annual report or Carbon Disclosure project.

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